Distinct heparan sulfate compositions in wild-type and pipe-mutant eggshell matrix

Youmie Park, Zhenqing Zhang, Robert J. Linhardt, Ellen K. LeMosy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Spatial information embedded in the extracellular matrix establishes the dorsoventral polarity of the Drosophila embryo through the ventral activity of a serine protease cascade. Pipe is a Golgi-localized protein responsible for generating this spatial information during oogenesis through sulfation of unknown glycans. Although Pipe has sequence homology to glycosaminoglycan 2-O-sulfotransferases, its activity and authentic substrates have not been demonstrated and genetic evidence has argued against a role for glycosaminoglycans in dorsoventral polarity establishment. Here, direct examination of matrix glycosaminoglycans demonstrates that pipe-mutant matrix shows decreased tri-sulfated heparan sulfate compared to wild-type matrix, with correspondingly increased 2-O-sulfated heparan sulfate. Chondroitin sulfate was not detected in this matrix. These results suggest that Pipe promotes 6-O and/or N-sulfation of heparan sulfate but is not required for heparan sulfate 2-O-sulfation. We discuss the possible significance of these unexpected findings and how they might be reconciled with the genetic data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-179
Number of pages5
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008


  • Disaccharide composition
  • Dorsoventral polarity
  • Drosophila
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Heparan sulfate
  • Pipe
  • Sulfotransferase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science


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